Parenting is… planting the seeds of love with commitment. 

Posted on December 22, 2019

As I looked around at the holiday decorations in the lobby of Hoag Memorial Hospital in Irvine, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the power of family. My father, siblings, their spouses, and my husband had all showed up to be at my mom’s side as she underwent knee replacement surgery. Clearly we were not alone. In groups small and large several families were huddled around the waiting room apparently for the same reason.

I thought about how busy my schedule had been not long ago when my sister, who had accompanied my mom to her orthopedic surgeon’s appointment, called and said, “The surgeon had an opening on December 12, and I’ve encouraged mom to take it. I helped her commit before she changed her mind again. She’s having surgery in two weeks.”

She conferenced my brother on the call, and we laughed because we had no idea how we were going to pull this off. This happened to be one of those times in our lives when, despite the holidays, each of us already had an ailing parent-in-law in our care at home!

Life never shows up announced. That truly is both the challenge and the beauty of it. It is a challenge if we resist what is happening, but if we simply surrender to events, it can become something positive. My siblings and siblings-in-law and I have spent the last week as a team in helping my mom through her first week after surgery. It hasn’t been easy, but over the weekend, when the grandkids came to visit, my handsome 84-year-old father got teary-eyed and said, “I am one blessed man to have such a supportive family.”

Yesterday, my mom broke down and told my brother, “I’m so grateful for all of you.” But we reminded her and our father that we are not doing anything they didn’t do for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are just doing what we have seen them do for family, friends, and members of the community.

Life does come full circle. When parents plant the seeds of love for family with commitment in the garden of their homes, love grows, multiplies, and flowers. Love sweetly touches every heart that crosses its path. Sure, there may be pain and some rocky times on this ship of family relations. But there is also immense comfort and a sense of peace in holding hands while riding the waves of life—especially at this busy time of year.

Wishing all of you and your families a very Happy Holiday Season!